Guillemard Bridge was officially opened by HRH Sultan Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Muhammad IV in 1925. The bridge was named after the British Governor and High Commissioner for the Straits Settlement at that time, Sir Laurence Guillemard.
It connects Kusial in Tanah Merah and Paloh Rawa in the Machang district and took The Metro Carriage Wagon & Finance Co. Ltd, Wednesbury Works, England, four years to build and was completed in July 1924.
The 600m bridge, said to be the longest train bridge in the country, is a technological marvel and is still standing strong after nearly a century. The strong, black solid steel bridge has a history worth telling.
In December 1941, at the start of the World War II in Malaya, the British forces retreating south to Kuala Krai, destroyed the last span of the bridge to prevent the Japanese army advancing. It remained impassable to traffic until it was reconstructed and reopened to traffic on Sept 7, 1948.
The bridge was used by all vehicles until Feb 1988 when a new bridge was completed along Route 4, a few kilometres away.
From that time, the Guillemard Bridge has been used exclusively by KTM though motorcyclists and pedestrians are allowed to use the side passage.
The year 1988 also marked the end of the heydays of both Kampung Kusial Bharu (or Baru) and Paloh Rawa. Before that, the bridge brought extra income to villagers who did brisk business in nearby markets, selling fresh produce to pedestrians and drivers waiting to cross the bridge. When economic activities slowed down drastically, many villagers migrated.
Today, this railway bridge is used only for trains, and makes up part of the 'jungle railway' line that runs from Tumpat in the north, to Gemas in the south (in Negeri Sembilan)